Folic acid is one of the B vitamins. It
helps produce red blood cells. Low levels of folic acid (also called folate) in
the body decrease production of red blood cells and cause
folic acid deficiency anemia.
folic acid deficiency anemia include:
Not eating enough foods that contain folic acid.
The homeless, people with
substance abuse problems, the elderly, and low-income
families are among those who may have low levels of folic acid because of poor
An increased rate of the
chemical processes that take place in the body (metabolism), as
might happen with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). This uses up the body's store of
folic acid faster than it is absorbed.
Not absorbing or retaining folic acid.
Drinking too much alcohol interferes with
the absorption of folic acid in the body, because alcohol increases the amount
of folic acid that is lost through the urine.
People who have
severe kidney problems may need to have a procedure that cleans the blood
(hemodialysis), which increases folic acid
Uncommon disorders in the intestines, such as celiac
sprue, can interfere with the body's ability to absorb
Taking certain medications, including:
Methotrexate, which is used for
rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers. It is common in
the U.S. for doctors to prescribe folic acid along with methotrexate to prevent
folic acid deficiency.
Some antibiotics if
used for a long time, including Coptin (part of Bactrim and Septra) and
Some medicines to prevent
seizures, such as phenytoin, primidone, carbamezapine,
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.